Bhubaneswar: Union Government has allotted eleven Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officers to Odisha in order to promote the State at the global level.
These diplomats would act as ‘ambassadors’ in their personal and official capacity to facilitate the State’s linkage with the outside world to bring the State closer to the practice of Indian diplomacy.
Among the eleven officers attached to Odisha, there are a number of Odias and others having a long association with the State. These career diplomats are Ashok Das, Ambassador to Brazil; Dinesh Kumar Patnaik, Additional Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA); Sanjay Panda, Consul General of India, San Francisco; Sanjay Sudhir, Ambassador to Maldives; Arun Kumar Sahu, High Commissioner of India to Trinidad and Tobago; Manoj Kumar Mohapatra, Minister Commerce, Embassy of India, Washington; Jitendra Nath Majhi, Counsellor, Embassy of India, Croatia; Madan Mohan Sethi, Director Europe Division, MEA; BC Pradhan, Deputy Secretary, MEA; Lakshmi Kanta Kumbhar, First Secretary High Commission of India, Malaysia; and Manas Raj Patel, Second Secretary Embassy of India, Algiers.
The purpose of the initiative is to connect the officers to the State for effective conduct of economic diplomacy and para diplomacy. Along with their regular work, the officer would promote the interest of the State and help in attracting investment. They would promote tourism, facilitate best practices adopted in the State, indentify opportunities for exports from the State, foster sister city and sister State Partnerships, and encourage cultural contact and people-to-people interactions. The MEA has created a Special Division of Economic Diplomacy and States to coordinate the entire exercise. The Odisha Government has nominated senior IAS officer Nitin B Jawale, Managing Director of IPICOL, as Nodal Officer to coordinate with the MEA.
The IFS Officers would maintain contacts with State Government officials during their visits to the State, both on official and private visits as well as on home leave also.
Every year, the list of IFS officers allotted to the State would be updated, especially after a new batch of officers join the MEA and some officers superannuate, said official sources.